In our first ever, “where are they now” story, the PWL checked-in with former league member Mindie Reule. Reule, one of only three female players in league history to hit an out of the park home run, walked away from a promising career after the 2007 season. Her stats are still among the best in league history for a female and she was named the Spring 2007 Most Valuable Female Player.
After four seasons, three with the Borg, one with the “The Martha Washingtons”, Reule transferred to the fledgling Rocky Mountain Wiffleball League. Unfortunately, the effect of the high Denver altitude, the lack of a fan base, and something known as (redacted), killed the league before it could get off the ground. Disappointed, Reule still yearned for the feel of plastic on plastic action, and like many young stars, turned to all the wrong places for comfort, including…softball.
After abusing it in college, Reule had successfully kicked her softball habit for several years. There was an occasional relapse, and as her career in the PWL started to take off, she became more and more comfortable she could handle it. She even played in a softball “league”. (As if you can call a group of teams who play but don’t keep stats and videos a “league”.)
The moderate summer temperatures in Denver and no wiffleball left her feeling cold and lonely, so she turned back to softball once again, this time, the batting cages. It was at the cages, late last August, where she finally hit rock bottom.
Witnesses described the scene as best they could, but it was not easy to talk about. “She was so hopped up on goofballs, I don’t think she knew what she was doing”, said one eye witness. “I really don’t think she knew that the bat was metal, I think she was too far gone to even realize that”, remembered another.
Reule, in some sort of rage, broke a bat in half.
It wasn’t a yellow plastic bat in her hand, hitting wiffleballs; it was an aluminum softball bat hitting softballs. The handle, shredded, sat in her hands as she wreaked havoc on onlookers.
When asked about what happened, she still refuses to comment. It’s clear though that the moment changed her, and everyone there that day forever.
Reule has since recovered from the episode and returned to her hometown of Montesano, Washington to recuperate. She says she misses wiffleball, but has no plans to return.